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Demonstrates how the synagogue came to be seen as sacred, arguing that biblical scrolls within the synagogue were the most important source of sanctity in the minds of the ancients. Explores the ideological development of the synagogue as well as trends in the history of Judaism during the Greco-Roman period, and concludes that during late antiquity there existed a single but multifaceted Judaism rather than the separate Judaisms some have posited. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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There have been a plethora of studies on the ancient synagogue based on the new archaeological and literary sources that are coming to light, but this volume by Fine (Rabbinic studies, Baltimore Hebrew Univ.) is the most exhaustive study yet. The result of seven years of research, this revision of a doctoral dissertation at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is a massive compendium of sources and scholarship. Both literary sources and archaeological remains dating back to the Greco-Roman period call the synagogue a holy place; Fine studies how and why it attained that designation. The twin testimonies to the sanctification process are traced from the Second Temple Period in Tannaitic, Amoraic, and Post-Amoraic literature from the land of Israel, archaeological remains from late Palestinian antiquity, and the references to synagogues throughout the Diaspora in late antiquity. A substantial, scholarly book that is still accessible to those who have sufficient interest in the subject but lack the specialist's understanding of archaeology and Jewish literature.?Eugene O. Bowser, Univ. of Northern Colorado, Greeley
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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